Google Reviews and What They Mean to Local Businesses
May 27, 2022
| BankingFocus-Banking Focus
Spring is upon us and there is always excitement in the air during this time of year. People are on the move more when weather is nice and hopefully you have seen that in your business. There are ways to enhance that even more, as consumers rely more and more on business reviews, as well as being more inclined to provide a review for businesses themselves. Here are some reasons why this may be helpful to your business.
10 Reasons Why Google Reviews are So Important to a Local Business
By: Kirk Bates, Market248.com
We have all heard of the #1 rule for a successful restaurant; ‘location, location, location’. Now there’s a new rule for local, small businesses; ‘reputation, reputation, reputation!’
If your Google Local Listing is not optimized and not being managed on a regular basis (which means you are adding new photos regularly, creating new posts, and adding and responding to reviews) then you are not taking advantage of one of the most powerful and free marketing tools available to local businesses.
The top 3 to 4 positions [in a Google search] are now reserved for Google ads and then the next 3 positions go to local listings. So, you can see why these listings, and the reviews that are found on them, are so important for local businesses.
1. Trust and first impressions
For people who don’t know who you are, reviews have become a critical tool for developing that level of comfort and trust they want before they do business with you.
2. Your reputation is on the Line
Your reviews are a magnification of your online reputation. If you don’t provide good customer service, you can bet people will let you (and everyone else) know in the form of poor reviews. If you don’t have good reviews, you’re losing business.
3. Great reviews can help you achieve higher organic rankings
Your online reviews are a very strong indicator (for Google) of whether or not people like your business. If you have 5 reviews and your competition has 36, who do you think will get the first call?
4. Customer Feedback – taking an honest look in the mirror
Want to know what people really think about your products and services?
All of your reviews, even your bad reviews, are an opportunity for you to learn something as a business owner or manager. When you get a not-so-great review, try to keep an open mind.
5. More and more consumers are reading reviews before buying
A growing number of consumers are reading reviews before they decide to shop with a local business. Also, more people are using mobile devices to search out businesses, and the first thing they are going to read will be your reviews.
6. More people are calling businesses directly from Google Local Listings
About 8 to 10 months ago we discovered that our clients were beginning to get more phone calls directly from their Google Local Listing than they were from their own website! This change in how people are doing business with local businesses reinforces just how important these local listings and reviews are.
7. People are searching for “business name + reviews”
Local business reviews have become such a staple in the online search process that people are now searching using specific search strings like “business name + reviews” and/or “local service + near me”.
8. 78% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal referrals
The latest statistics tell us that up to 78% of buyers trust online reviews as much as reviews from a friend and that number jumps to an astounding 91% for the 18-34 age group!
9. If your competitors have better reviews, you are losing business
You are losing business every single day if you don’t have good reviews online. Further, a large percentage of prospective customers will not even contact you if you don’t have at least 4 out of 5 stars.
10. Great reviews make people feel like they’ll get a higher level of service
Your online reviews will make shoppers feel like they will get the same level of service as the people who wrote the reviews received. That is the power of a review at its very core. People aren’t just looking for a product or service; they are looking for a great experience with your business.
There’s never been a better time to take advantage of this free tool that Google offers in the form of their local listings!